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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 09:47 GMT
Infamous cafe could close
The Black and White cafe
The cafe sits in the middle of terraced houses
A cafe with a reputation as a haven for drugs dealers and where a raid once led to race riots could be demolished under a new development plan.

Police in Bristol raided the Black and White cafe in St Paul's last week and arrested a man after uncovering a quantity of crack cocaine.

Under the new plan, submitted by Knightstone Development, the cafe, which was opened in 1971, will go.

Seven two-bedroom homes would be built on the site and on adjacent land currently occupied by semi-derelict houses.

Jayne Whittlestone, spokeswoman for the company, said the scheme would improve the feel of the area as well as providing 'affordable' quality housing.
I don't think this development should come at the expense of a private businessman



Simba

She said: "What we have started to do is work with local people to recreate the sense and feeling of what the street used to look like, but with modern, up-to-date features.

"We wanted to create stability there and get families living there again.

"Drug-dealing has become an endemic part of society, not just St Paul's. We are looking at ways of improving this. It's an issue people want to see resolved."

The company say they have consulted local people about the plans but the Wilks family, who own the cafe and who do not wish to sell, say they will not negotiate with Knightstone.

Police searching for drugs
Police recently raided the Black and White cafe

Bertram Wilks said it was not possible to solve deep-rooted problems simply by closing down the cafe.

Simba, a youth worker in St Paul's said: "Its seems over a period of time, this area has been systematically downgraded.

"I don't think this development should come at the expense of a private businessman.

"The Black and White cafe has been known as a drugs den but I don't think that's fair.

"Dealers will use any place to ply their trade. It's difficult to say this man who is running his cafe is using it as a place to ply drugs, but the place has had that stigma over a number of years."

In 1980, a raid on the cafe in Grosvenor Road triggered the St Paul's riot, the first of a series of disturbances around Britain that year.


Click here to go to Bristol
See also:

17 Jan 03 | England
16 Jan 03 | England
03 Dec 02 | England
19 Nov 02 | England
24 Jun 02 | UK
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